Money, mouth and the BCS

Let’s refresh. Here’s the current top 13 in the BCS rankings:

  1. Ohio State
  2. LSU
  3. Virginia Tech
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Georgia
  6. Missouri
  7. USC
  8. Kansas
  9. West Virginia
  10. Hawaii
  11. Arizona State
  12. Florida
  13. Illinois

We’ve got #1 playing #2 (duh), #3 playing #8, #4 paying #9, #5 playing #10 and #7 playing #13. All at neutral sites (yeah, we’re stretching that term in New Orleans, but what the heck).

Which means that the favorites in the BCS games should be Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, Georgia and USC, right? Well, with one exception, Vegas – in the business of getting the public to spread its money on both sides of a bet – agrees with that. The only higher ranked team that’s an underdog in a BCS game is Ohio State.

Now, if you net out the BCS averages between the participants of the games, you find that the BCS ranks the bowl games in terms of decreasing order of closeness as follows: Title Game (.0194), Orange Bowl (.1114), Fiesta Bowl (.1944), Sugar Bowl (.1924) and Rose Bowl (.3040). Do the point spreads match the BCS spreads?

Well, here’s what Vegas says – Orange Bowl (3 – 4 point spread), Title Game (4.5 – 5.5 point spread), Fiesta Bowl (6.5 – 7 point spread), Sugar Bowl (10 point spread) and Rose Bowl (13 – 14 point spread).

Bottom line: the betting public is of the opinion that Ohio State is overrated.

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3 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs

3 responses to “Money, mouth and the BCS

  1. Pingback: Eleven Warriors » Blog Archive » Lovin’ That Chip

  2. Michael

    Interesting thoughts. But you seem to argue against yourself a week later in your “Can’t get no respect” post. Looking at the stats to which you link, tOSU is 7-4 against the spread; LSU is 5-7-1 ATS. And as you point out, “the better a team’s record is against the spread, the less respect the betting public has for it.” So maybe “the betting public is of the opinion that Ohio State is overrated” — LSU might as well be handed the crystal football right now, and save everyone the embarrassment of the NC game on Jan. 7th. But maybe, just maybe, they should play the game to see if Vegas is right or not. The Buckeyes’ ATS record suggests Vegas isn’t always correct (also see, 2002 vs. Miami Hurricanes).
    ~ Geaux Buckeyes!

  3. But you seem to argue against yourself a week later in your “Can’t get no respect” post.

    Not exactly – you’re making an “apples vs. oranges” argument here. First, the stats linked to in the other post examined how teams did against the spread over the course of a season, not just one game.

    Second, those stats compared results after the fact against the betting line. Here, I’m comparing the BCS standings (before the game’s been played, for that matter) against the line.